Rural generalist medicine

The Rural Generalist concept, as a career prospect for doctors trained in the specialty of general practice is now well established throughout Australia and is being formalised in role descriptions and industrial awards.The College endorses the Cairns Consensus definition to describe this area of practice. This is being adopted increasingly by Australian and international jurisdictions. 

“We define Rural Generalist Medicine as the provision of a broad scope of medical care by a doctor in the rural context that encompasses the following:

  • Comprehensive primary care for individuals, families and communities
  • Hospital in-patient care and/or related secondary medical care in the institutional, home or ambulatory setting
  • Emergency care
  • Extended and evolving service in one or more areas of focused cognitive and/or procedural practice as required to sustain needed health services locally among a network of colleagues
  • A population health approach that is relevant to the community
  • Working as part of a multi-professional and multi-disciplinary team of colleagues, both local and distant, to provide services within a ‘system of care’ that is aligned and responsive to community needs.”
    (World Summit on Rural Generalist Medicine, Cairns, 2014).

Rural Health Commissioner to establish National Rural Generalist Pathway

ACRRM welcomes the appointment of Australia's first Rural Health Commissioner, Emeritus Professor Paul Worley.  

The College has worked for many years toward establishing a national framework to support and recognise Rural Generalist training. 

Establishing this national pathway will be the first priority of the new Commissioner and ACRRM looks forward to working with Prof Worley to achieve this.

The announcement of the appointment and the Commissioner’s first public address were made at the ACRRM-RDAA RMA conference in October 2017.

Seminal Reports

Rural Generalist programs

Rural Generalist training pathways to Vocational Registration are becoming established in jurisdictions across Australia:

Training for Fellowship of ACRRM (to become a Rural Generalist)

Fellowship of ACRRM (FACRRM) verifies that you have the skills, training, and registration necessary to work unsupervised in general practice anywhere in Australia. Advanced Specialised Training, a key component of the Primary Curriculum, equips you for secondary care in your chosen discipline. There are currently 11 on offer, including surgery, obstetrics, emergency medicine, and anaesthetics. For more information on these and the training program generally, please read the College's brochure.